Genish ousted from TIM board as shareholders move towards peace

28 June 2019 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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A merger between TIM’s wholesale fibre network in Italy with that of Open Fiber has come a step closer after yesterday’s board meeting of the former Telecom Italia group.

The board removed Amos Genish (pictured), a former CEO of TIM who was a nominee of biggest shareholder Vivendi, the French media group. Genish, who had been COO of Vivendi, was dismissed in November 2018 after a boardroom coup by Elliott, the activist New York-based shareholder.

His replacement, chosen by a unanimous vote of the board, was Frank Cadoret, who has worked in the French telecoms industry since 1995.

Though Cadoret is also a Vivendi nominee, his appointment is seen as a move to continue the moves towards peace between Vivendi and Elliott.

This war between the two nearly came to a head at a shareholders’ meeting in March, when Vivendi unexpectedly decided to support Elliott-nominated Luigi Gubitosi as CEO.

At yesterday’s meeting, according to official report from TIM, directors received “an update on the progress of the main ongoing projects, including the network sharing agreement with Vodafone [and] the NDA signed with Open Fiber’s shareholders and its consequent possible developments”.

The report did not explain further about the state of negotiations with Open Fiber, which is a 50-50 venture owned by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), a state investment fund, and Enel, the state electricity company. CDP is also the second largest shareholder – behind Vivendi and above Elliott – in TIM.

Elliott welcomed the election of Cadoret to the TIM board. He worked for French mobile operator SFR from 1995 and stayed with the group until SFR became part of Altice in 2014. He then became managing director of Vivendi and today is CEO of Canal+, the group’s French media business.